53-Year-Old Tortoise in Boston Looking for New Home After Owner Dies of COVID-19
The MSPCA in Boston says Ms. Jennifer may be the oldest adoptable animal they have ever cared for at the shelter
Ms. Jennifer's birthday wish is to find a new home.
On Thursday, the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (MSPCA) in Boston announced that a pet in their facility is looking for a new place to call home. The tortoise, named Ms. Jennifer, recently celebrated her 53rd birthday.
"Ms. Jennifer arrived at the MSPCA-Angell on May 9th after her owner fell ill from the coronavirus and could no longer care for her," the organization tells PEOPLE in a statement. "Sadly, the previous owner, a resident of Waltham, Mass., has died, and now Ms. Jennifer needs a new home."
The 4-pound tortoise is about the size of a large dinner plate, and "would make a wonderful addition to any turtle or reptile-loving home," the MSPCA says, adding that she may be the oldest adoptable animal they have ever cared for.
Although she just turned 53, she's still got a lot of life left to live as tortoises typically live upwards of 100 years.
Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories
Sadly, Ms. Jennifer is the tenth animal to be surrendered to the MSPCA because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The affected animals had owners that either died of COVID-19 complications, fell too ill to care for them, or were financially devastated by the ongoing pandemic, the organization says.
"Coronavirus is cutting a wide swath through Massachusetts ... and animals, like Ms. Jennifer, are impacted, too," the MSPCA says.
As of Thursday afternoon, May 21, Massachusetts officials have reported 88,970 confirmed cases of the virus in the state and a total of 6,066 deaths, according to a New York Times database.
Anyone interested in adopting Ms. Jennifer can email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments. PEOPLE has partnered with GoFundMe to raise money for the COVID-19 Relief Fund, a GoFundMe.org fundraiser to support everything from frontline responders to families in need, as well as organizations helping communities. For more information or to donate, click here.